In the course of matching singles of all genders and sexualities, Hinge has spotted an area of need among a subset of its users. So the dating app has decided to step in and offer some support.
Hinge launched Not-So-Frequently-Asked Questions or ‘NFAQ’ overnight. It’s a free educational guide to LGBTQIA+ dating and identity available to all Hinge users, as well as readers online.
Unlike their straight or cis counterparts, LGBTQIA+ folks have fewer resources to turn to for navigating identity and dating, according to Hinge. Data from the app showed 80 percent of LGBTQIA+ users struggle to find resources that help them date. This puts queer daters at a disadvantage building healthy and meaningful connections: something Hinge prides itself on facilitating.
The guide claims to address the questions “queer singles need answered most”. Those include:
“How can I start dating if I’m not ready to come out?”
“How do I recover from accidentally misgendering while trying to flirt?”
“I matched with my ex’s ex, but we are still friends. How should I approach setting up a date?”
Daters can also submit their own questions any time for future consideration in NFAQ.
Who is answering the questions?
Hinge has called on big names with big followings in the LGBTIQA+ community to offer their wisdom. ‘Influential and credible voices’, from author and artist Mimi Zhu to emergency medicine physician Dr. Darien Sutton, will address the queer dating intricacies left out in mainstream media.
“For LGBTQIA+ people, our experiences are so unique that the typical answers to dating questions don’t meet our needs,” says Hinge’s Moe Ari Brown.
“NFAQ is making the necessary space to not only answer LGBTQIA+ folks’ burning questions, but to also cultivate an atmosphere of celebration and inclusivity on Hinge and beyond our app.”
Hinge targets LGBTIQA+ users
With the launch of NFAQ, Hinge has said it will also invest resources in LGBTQIA+ community centres across the United States. This follows similar work Hinge has done in the past. In May, the app launched a fund to help increase therapy access for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ daters in the US.
Hinge has adapted its in-app affordances over the years to serve those across the spectrums of gender and sexuality, too.
Users can now select the pronouns and the sexual orientation on their profile. There are more than 50 gender options, with the ability for users to write in their gender.
Earlier this year, Hinge also released new prompts on the app. These were designed to help LGBTQIA+ users better connect based on similarities, interests, and compatibility.
But it was not always this way. In its early days, Hinge copped criticism for not being as queer-friendly, only offering male or female gender identification options.
Though not initially designed to be a queer dating app, Hinge has evolved to attract more LGBTQI+ users. It has marketed itself as the ‘relationship app’ among a crowded market of dating and hookup apps.
“Hinge is the dating app designed to be deleted,” reads its slogan. The app supposedly wants to become irrelevant to users who find lasting matches on it.
NFAQ fits in well with this brand image and purpose. The guide appears to encourage healthier relationships on and off the app among a targeted segment of Hinge’s audience.